Walk-in Centers Offer Shorter Wait Times

PORTLAND, Maine, July 20 (UPI) — A program offered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine provides non-emergency care that helps avoid busy hospital emergency rooms.

“If you have a less serious issue — like a sprained ankle, insect bite, or severe sun burn — a walk-in center may be a far better option and save you time as well as money,” Jeffrey Holmstrom, medical director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, says in a statement.

Anthem’s network includes 19 walk-in centers across Maine, which, in addition to lower out-of-pocket costs, offer wait times far shorter than those of emergency room non-critical care, Homstrom says.

Generally, walk-in centers may be used for:

– Minor allergic reactions.

– Mild asthma.

– Coughs, sore throat.

– Bumps, minor cuts, scrapes.

– Rashes, minor burns.

– Sprains.

– Minor fevers, colds.

– Minor headaches.

– Ear or sinus pain.

– Burning with urination.

– Eye swelling, irritation, redness or pain.

– Back pain.

– Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

– Minor animal bites.

– Vaccinations.

– X-rays.

– Stitches

Emergency rooms should be used for:

– Any life-threatening or disabling condition.

– Sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness.

– Chest pain; numbness in the face, arm or leg; difficulty speaking.

– Severe shortness of breath.

– High fever with stiff neck, mental confusion or difficulty breathing.

– Coughing or a wound that won’t stop bleeding.

– Major injuries.

– Possible broken bones.

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